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Seattle Gives Power to the People…in the Right-of-Way

The City of Seattle charged forward this week on some key climate action goals when SDOT kicked off its Electric Vehicle Charging in the Public Right of Way Pilot Program (EVCROW). Yes, that’s quite a mouthful. But what EVCROW lacks in verbal eloquence, it more than makes up for in greenhouse gas reduction, clean air, and more options. But enough with the intro, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

What the heck is EVCROW?

It’s a pilot program SDOT launched that permits public and private electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure providers to install EV charging stations on non-residential streets in urban villages, urban centers, and commercial streets throughout the city. This program is SDOT’s first step in developing right-of-way charging policies citywide.

Why is SDOT doing this?

You might remember that the city passed the Drive Clean Seattle initiative last year, which tackles climate change at the local level and serves as the City’s blueprint for electrifying transportation and reducing oil consumption. In fact, Seattle has set a goal calling for 30 percent of light duty vehicles registered in the City to be electric by 2030.

What are the permitting requirements?

EV infrastructure providers must apply for permits and show a demonstrated ability to meet requirements for siting, construction, and installation. SDOT will issue permits to those companies that satisfy these requirements. Oh, and the applicant is also required to submit service connection applications with Seattle City Light.

Why a pilot program?

The pilot gives SDOT the ability to assess the permitting process, monitor installation challenges, and evaluate EV charging behavior in advance of developing a permanent Street Use permitting program. When the pilot ends on July 18, 2018, SDOT will then evaluate the program and update permit requirements, making adjustments as necessary throughout the process.

If you are into permitting language and want to dive in to more detail about the pilot requirements, click here.

The EVCROW pilot permit program an implementation action of the Drive Clean Seattle resolution and managed through SDOT’s New Mobility Program. New Mobility are those emerging elements of our transportation system that are enabled by digital technology, focused on shared services and clean transportation solutions, and driven by real-time data.